"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Saturday, December 12, 2009


My ex husband died yesterday. We were only married about 7 years and together for about 4 years before that. Add the 3 years we have been divorced and that gives us almost 15 years knowing each other. I loved him once and I think that at one time, he loved me; at least the best that he was capable of. Our relationship started out good, but should have ended before we married. I knew it somewhere deep down inside my heart. But that knowledge was so deep down inside me; every time it tried to surface I shoved it back to the land of ignorance. I wanted it to be, so badly, that I was sure I could fix it all, or at least live with it. I was so ignorant of the responsibilities of marriage. I wanted to be someones wife, to belong with someone, to stand beside someone, to always have someone to come home to. So I ignored my ex husbands shortcomings....I ignored who he was, and in that I disrespected him as a man. My intentions were good, albeit somewhat selfish. And I have no doubt he had good intentions as well. I think he might say the same thing, I think he didn't want to be alone anymore. I have also disrespected him, as most divorced people do, by talking about his evil low down dirty rotten scoundrel lying cheating side. And I am sure he did to me as well. But, he still claims a part of my life, part of my history, and part of who I will be in the future. And I meant you no disrespect Ronnie, I am sorry I didn't let you be you. I am sorry you had to go.
P.S. If you read this, Max misses you so bad.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thank a Vet

It is once again Veterans Day, a day I never really thought much about and frankly took quite for granted. Not until becoming a mother and a wife, did I ever consider that a soldier is someone's son or daughter, or that he is a husband or father. Not until my own son was of the age when he might enlist or be drafted if ever our country returned to that. Not until a few years ago, when L approached my uncle, a WWII veteran, and said "I want to thank you for serving this country". And he shook his hand. My uncle, who still talks about that moment, was recognized for what he did. Someone else recognized what he sacrificed. I have posted about this before, and it remains one of my single most inspiring moments I have witnessed. So don't just wave a flag, watch a parade, or just take the day off if it is a holiday for you. Thank a veteran of any military branch. Be it Navy, Army, Air Force, or Marines. WWII, Vietnam, or boot camp. Thank them, whether they were in a war or not. They put themselves in harms way every day. They lose their lives in combat, in helicopters, in accidents, and in training. This Veterans day, take a moment to thank a vet.

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Winston Churchill

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Venturing Out

It was a mixed bag in the North Carolina mountains; we started the week off with 30 degree weather and snow, and ended with mid 60's. We saw everything from snow to rain to sunshine.

The color was not as good at the higher elevations, but was really beautiful on a waterfall side trip we made in the southern part of the mountains.

The first picture is Looking Glass Falls and the next two are White Water falls, both in Brevard, N.C.

The highlight of the week was a little off the beaten path. While on a public viewing platform at Connestee Falls, L spotted something off in the woods beside the falls. If you click on this photo and look closely to the right of the falls, you will see some stairs! Now, I am not one to run off into the woods without a marked trail . I am the one who doesn't take enough chances in life. L is the one who inspires me to be more of a participant in life. And being out of shape, overweight and with an old foot injury, I don't have a lot of confidence in my ability to do physical things. I have deep seated fear of walking just far enough into the woods to be beyond rescue, and having a heart attack. For me, far enough is about 50 feet. But when he sees stairs in the woods beside the falls...he is going in! It took a little encouraging on his part, but I tentatively followed him into the woods to find a way to come up over the falls to the other side. Soon, we found a hint of a path, which soon became a good trail and then became a marked trail. It was an easy stroll in the woods, even for me. The only part that concerned me was the 100 and some odd steps that led down to the falls. That and the little snake that laid on one of the steps. It scared me so bad I couldn't even take a picture.

Eventually we came out in a clearing right beside the falls, so close you could put your hand in. The twin falls of Connestee and Batson Creek spill in from two directions. The waters pool together and form a third falls called Silver Slip. The constant roar of the twin falls echoed through the woods and proved to be a magical place.

I am inspired to get in better shape, to regain my confidence, and to venture out of my comfort zone more often. Life is too short. And to you...thank you for that walk.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dream House 2009

I don't watch a lot of TV. When I need mindless excursions, I usually get on the internet. I travel to different towns across America via the Real Estate pages. I am on a never ending hunt for my perfect house. I don't have an overall picture of it in my mind, but I do have snapshots in my dreams. Its front remains faceless right now, but its features are clear. My must haves are simple and generally are old features.

An antique door ...I love the hardware on this one as well. But I like those old glass doorknobs for all the interior doors.
this photo taken without permission from

Old screen doors on every entrance...and they have to be the real kind that slap the wood every time they close. The hinges can squeak as well.

a front porch...enough said

....fireplace, preferably stone

a farmhouse sink

And this lovely bathroom. I am blessed to have a really nice little house, and love it and I am truly grateful for it. It's main issues for me are that it isn't located where I would like it to be. If I could add a porch, get a new "old" door and screen doors, face the fireplace out with stone, get a new sink and remodel the bathroom; then it would be perfect.

Oh, and.....

maybe move it to this view.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good days, Bad days

Although this picture is from last fall, it won't be long before we enjoy cooler days again. We were teased the last few days with mild weather, and it was just enough to make me yearn for colder weather and fall colors. The fall days bring out the best in me, something I need a dose of right now.

Some days are good ones, others... not so. For some reason today did not start out to be my best. After a few cups of coffee and some negative mind games, I decided that being a 3 day weekend, I had to turn things around. Having an extra day off onMonday is golden around here, so although I have no weekend plans, I decided to at least make some of that time useful. I resorted to what I usually do when faced with idle time.....No, I did not cut my hair. But I did clean and reorganize an unusually messy house. After the May return of my recent college graduated son, my small house is bursting with stuff. Although I had originally looked at this as a temporary housing situation, it appears it is turning into a roomate situation that doesn't have an ending in the near future. Unless a miracle job appears for said Biology graduate. Soon. Anything, really will do. So while he sleeps away his Saturday morning; and now his afternoon as well, I have cleaned my way through half my house. And then a late afternoon suprise visit has turned a not so day into a happy one.

And the first Sam Adams Octoberfest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Today was a day I just didn't feel like sitting around inside. I needed to wander a bit, physically and mentally. So I took myself to one of my favorite "mindless" places... a local antique junk and flea market. I love to wander and look and pick out things to buy; but I usually carry them around for awhile and then one by one, I put them back. I think I have almost as much fun doing this as I do if I just buy them!

There were a lot of glass bottles, canisters and cookie jars. I love glass, but I didn't see anything today that interested me. I saw a lot of things I would like to have if I ever have an old house, with a farmhouse style kitchen.

I saw a lot of nice wood things. Lots of wood boxes (which I love), but none that seemed really old to me. I also saw a lot of old crates, ammo crates as well as food crates. They are always fun and good for storage. One of the most unique things I saw was a cigar mold, I wish I could have gotten a picture, but my phone was dead by then!

Also there were walls of old tools, saws, kitchen tools, and just ...
well, stuff! That box looking thing on the right hand edge of this photo, is a wooden pigeon carrier! It was 3 or 4 feet long, with a row of doors an separate compartments. Something I had never seen before!

My favorite thing that I didn't buy, was a divided crate. It looked like it might have held wine bottles at one time. But I left it for someone else to rescue. Next time maybe.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Are You Afraid Of?

What do I fear? Everything it seems these days....is it old age ? (middle-old-age?) I was fearless in my youth; not afraid of anything that I remember. Little would stop me from what I wanted to do and no obstacles ever stood in my way. Nothing was dangerous and nothing had consequences. Nowadays...I am afraid of too much. Ironically, I don't really worry about real issues like the economy, Korea, terrorism or Jon and Kate . I worry about stupid stuff. These are my current mind occupying fears; in no particular order.

1. Having a heart attack* any minute.
* stroke, aneurysm, that last piece of stuff that clogs the artery, or flesh eating disease
2. Driving (being the passenger) in traffic*
* substitute rain, fog, etc
3. Flying...
heaven forbid I should ever have enough money for a plane ticket to go somewhere
4. That my son will never leave home..
5. That my son will leave home
6. That my house will rot*
* or flood, become termite fodder, crack in half, leak gas and blow
7. That the wheel on my car will break off and I will flip over
seriously, I have a bad bearing of some kind
8. That someday when I am old and alone I will break down and get a cat
9. That I made the wrong decision

That about does it. What are you afraid of?

sorry no picture...computer issues!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Floats Your Boat??

Not much time to be blogging this summer. But this morning I sat alone in my little back yard with a cup of coffee. It was breezy and unseasonably cool for us this time of year. The garden was quiet and peaceful; one of those few moments that stands still for you. It was a perfect time to reflect on what brought me joy these past few weeks.

An afternoon trip to the zoo

Summer flowers in the garden

Almost $0 credit card debt (almost)

Laughing with my son

A shared plate of jalapeno poppers

Light work loads in the office

Fresh tomatoes and herbs

A trip to the beach with family

How about you? Don’t forget to make the time to recognize what you are grateful for. It makes all the hard stuff worth it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

What a difference six weeks and 40 degrees makes.....This is my front yard in a March "snow storm" (yeah, yeah , I know but still, this is the deep South!) and this weekend in a stalled rainstorm which flooded much of my town. In all the years I have lived here, I have never seen this town flood at all. This water eventually crept up into my house, flooding out a rarely used sun room, and just barely dampening the edges of the carpet in a few rooms. I am kind of afraid to see what this vista might offer to me next!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome Our Family Additions!!!!

Well, to explain my recent absence, I have had a bit of an unexpected delivery. My first awareness of the impending addition to the family, was a blurry photo. I know, I know, everyone has those black and white blurs of blobs in their baby photo albums. The ones where you can't see exactly whats what, but you think you can and then eventually you believe you can. Well, it was one of those. I did think I could actually see an eyeball though.What a surprise in the next one though, to count distinct separate babies! And three of them no less! What to do first? Add on a bedroom? Open a savings account? Hire a nanny or two? Yikes ...what does one do with three babies? Eventually the shock wore off and we all have settled in to the realization...life will change soon. No longer are we carefree and able to sleep in and to hit the local feeder when we feel like it. No more unorganized nest for us. No more hitting the skies to a weekend island trip at a moments notice. Nope, now we are to be part of a new breed...parents. And of multiples at that. But there is one more surprise...last check on the babes confirmed our worst fears. Yes there was one more undetected heartbeat in there. One more set of beady little eyes and one more open mouth, frozen in that grimacing facial expression ready to accept whatever little morsel we can posssibly scrape together. Whats a finch to do???


Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Lack of Time Management Skills

I do not know what has been wrong with me lately that I can not find 30 minutes in a month, to sit down and write on this blog. It can't be that I have nothing to say, as I always have something to say about everything. I have also noticed, (as pointed out by Sue, http://thetornpages.com/ ) that many of our fellow bloggers are in the same dilemma; no time or will to post. Then what happens is, little by little people quit coming back to check on you. It takes months and months to acquire a few readers but no time to lose them ! I hope it is only the season. After long cold months being trapped inside, I think most people are just a little bit like kids let out of school. Set free! We love our spring weather, we are busy, we just have other things to do that seem more important than writing about them. Interestingly, I still check every blog on my list, as well as all my food blogs (that I don't keep listed on my blog, because then you will think, wow, she is awfully interested in food) every few days. So everybody, it's time to come back. I promise myself, that I will at least sit down and say something every week at a minimum. Because I love to write on my blog, even if no one reads it. And even more so, I love to read the blogs from all of you....I need to keep up with what brings joy to your world ! Have a blessed easter weekend.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Going With the Flow

This lovely geographic is actually melting snow sliding down the window pane. Being that it is winter, this probably is an insignificant fact to most. But being that this is the deep South, that it was 70 degrees and sunny Friday, lightening and thunder yesterday; it has an impact of profound proportions to us Southerners. We don't know what to do. The women line up in the stores the day before and buy bread and milk. I have never known why...but bread and milk is what we fear running out of. As if no child ever survived on coke and cheez-its for a day or two. As I get older I find it harder to get out of my routine and to tolerate the unexpected; I just don't adjust to things not going my way.

A few days ago I had a call from my college son. He loves to cook and told me he had a craving for Eggs Benedict (which our family loves!). Of course he didn't have anything he needed, but proceeded to make it anyway. He had no English muffins, so used bagels instead. Having no ham, he grilled chicken a breast. And having no hollandaise makings, he made some runny melted cheese. He didn't exactly make Eggs Benedict, but he had something good. Yesterday, he rolled out of bed and put a few t-shirts and jeans in a bag, and hopped on a plane to Miami for spring break. He didn't pack for hours, didn't stress about clothes, didn't worry over how much cash he had, or what his hotel looked like...he will just adapt however he needs.

On this cold snowy day, all I could think about was Eggs Benedict. I was out of English Muffins as well as canadian bacon or ham. I had a stale french baguette though. I grilled thick slices of it, topped that off with bacon and thick slices of tomato, quick fried eggs instead of poached and topped it all off with a warm dose of hollandaise sauce (from Knorrs mix of course!)

To say it was Eggs Benedict isn't quite accurate. But to say it wasn't as good is far from the truth. It was warm and delicious and more than satisfied my craving. As I watched the snow melt off the windows, I realized that
I need to learn to be more flexible, to make do with what I have, and to know that my way isn't always the only way.
Lighten up and go with the flow as they say..... words I hope to make more a part of my life.

***for a different take on our snow day here in the South, check out this lovely post***

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tea and Sympathy

In Japan, the tea ceremony is one of specific rituals, movements, and traditions. It is rich in meaning and history, yet at the same time composed of serene and simplistic aesthetics. It is a social event between people, that is full of peace and harmony.

In the 1600's in England, tea was introduced after making its way through Europe via Holland and France. It was extremely expensive in those early days, thus becoming the afternoon ritual of aristocracy.

In America, the British were reminded that we Americans don't necessarily share their love of the tea leaf; put another tax on us and it's into the harbor it goes...maybe this is when the idea of Starbucks was born! I like coffee, but I love a cup of tea. Most nights I make tea, sometimes cinnamon apple, sometimes honey chamomile....but always steaming hot and sweet with honey or sugar. Admittedly, in the summer, hot tea doesn't soothe as well, and I have been known to resort to a brew of a different nature that also helps me sleep...but that's a whole different post ! (http://pats-dryrun.blogspot.com/2008/02/38-on-lighter-note.html.
I need no ceremony or rituals. I only need the mug, warm in my hands, to bring focus to the important things in my life. The steam carries the troubles from my mind as it rises and disperses them elsewhere. It is a moment to reflect; a moment to pray. It is a spiritual moment for me, without ceremony or history; but full of reflection and peace and harmony.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Well for lack of anything to talk about....who would have thought lettuce could be so pretty? Seriously, I snapped a few pictures of the lettuce, intending to progress to the completed salad I was concocting. But the lettuce was the only fresh thing I came up with. The tomatoes are no good, being of the hothouse variety....my craving for a good summer salad was a little premature. I gave up on the salad but did notice how lovely this simple picture of lettuce is! We are being teased with this spring like weather, high 60's and 70's; it's easy to forget it is dead of winter. I won't start with the spring fever yet, but I did so want a good salad! I will be satisfied with this bit of green for a few more months anyway!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

See Slumdog Millionaire...Soon!

If you haven't seen it, get yourself to thy theater as soon as possible! This is a movie that horrifies, yet at the same time has magic of storytelling. It is a story of a young man, who tells his life story in relation to the questions he is asked on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". Each story from his life becomes a step out of his tragic past towards a magical future. You must endure some serious scenes which extol the impoverished and third world nature of the city slums of Mumbai; the same city which was victim to recent terrorist attacks that killed 160 people. It is India at its grittiest, yet it is a photo of the real India. It is horrifying as well as heartwarming. It forces you to realize what we take for granted daily. It forces you to admit places exist today where children are tortured, prostituted and treated less well then most of our house pets. It forces you to be thankful for whatever little bit of heaven you live in...and believe me after seeing this movie you will appreciate your mortgaged to the hilt 1000 sq feet of brick and mortar that the most average of us resides in. It will make you thankful your children live in safety and have food and shelter. It will make you thankful to not be criticized, much less beaten to death in the street for your choice of Gods to worship. It also has a little bit to say about love that withstands all the above, and about a boy who desires no riches other then to gain love. And it restores my faith that sometimes good does prevail.
...Oh and, uhhhh..... credits to whoever the photo belongs to.......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beer and Bread: The Diet Resolution

As usual, the new year finds me fat and not so happy about it. Fat, in that I have gained back almost all the 10 pounds I had lost since early fall. Not so happy, in that recently my weight seems to be the only thing I focus one; its the one piece of my youth that I feel like I can have if I try harder. I can't make my gray hair go away (well, hello Clairol, but still...), I can't smooth away those fine lines and wrinkles (unless willing to let someone sand blast them away or inject with deadly bacteria), and I can't reclaim those lost brain cells that are my failing memory (even though I remember every word to Maggie May, thank you very much). But I can get to healthier weight if I try; I have no inspiration to be thin, just healthier. Twenty pounds would be nice. Really thirty would be nicer, but.....baby steps. What kind of diet? The kind where you eat no carbs (that would leave out bread and beer), or the kind where you count points( that too, would leave out bread and beer). Then, there is the one where you count total calories (again, no bread or beer) or the Mediterranean one with plenty of olive oil and wine (but again...no bread and beer). Bread....I will never be able to go without. I can give up sweets and I can resist the urge to use potato chips as a feed bag, but I will never give up bread. Warm bread, especially just out of the oven, is my favorite food. And lest you think I am a lush and can't live without beer, think again. We just finished the last case of Sam Adams Octoberfest, so truthfully,(since that has been my favorite) I didn't think giving up beer would be a problem. But, who would have thought Sam Adams Irish Red could fill such a void. Let me tell you, it can! Who woulda thunk?
So.... it's time to clean my room, hang up all my cast aside clothes, and dust off my treadmill. Its the only way for me; it's such a simple fact, you wouldn't think I would even have to write about weight loss. I know it, I just have to make it part of my routine. I knew I should have bought the treadmill with the cupholder! My 2009 diet has officially begun, and I expect to be held accountable to how many beers I drank, and how many miles I walked. Ermmm, make that how many beers I didn't drink and how many tenths of a mile I walked.